I have been trying to figure out what makes Bill Phillips so special- maybe it’s the smell of the snack bar or the energy of the warm up area, but most of all it is the take off point for competitive season, and what could be better than that? Stratford, Ontario has historically held the Bill Phillips Memorial Invitational, and this year was no exception. Skaters from all over Ontario gathered at the Stratford Rotary Complex to begin their competitive seasons.
The first champions crowned, Sparkling Ice Elementary scored an impressive 31.38 points, over the Mount Brydges Magic Blades who placed second with 28.36 points overall. In third place representing Tavistock and District, Team Unity with 27.24 points.
In the Juvenile category, Sparkling Ice claimed it’s second gold medal of the invitational with 43.85 points overall, with Gold Ice taking the silver (42.81) and Meraki taking bronze (37.23) slimy over Nexxice who finished fourth with 37.16 points.
The Pre-Novice category saw some excellent skating, especially from the champions representing Mount Brydges, Magic Blades who claimed gold with 51.18 points, over Newmarket’s Momentum with 46.52 points. Ice Fyre was bronze with 45.00 points total.
In a close race in the first skate, the Novice division experienced some shuffling in the final match up against 5 very strong Ontario teams. Skating to an Elvis medley, Nexxice of Burlington took home the gold medal after a rocky first skate, earning 76.91 points overall. Gold Ice was able to maintain their silver medal position with a total score of 71.07, with Synchronicity climbing up onto the podium with 68.12 points.
The caliber of skating was visibly raised this year in the Intermediate category- as we saw teams attempting higher levels and taking on more challenging music. The Ilderton Silver Jets and their crowd pleasing Michael Jackson program took gold with 97.06 points, slimy over Burlington’s Nexxice who had 96.16. Meraki’s newest team made their debut, earning a bronze medal and 80.33 points overall.
In the Open category, Nexxice of Burlington debuted their breathtaking Violets and Roses program, earning them an impressive 134.70 overall. Gold Ice skated an upbeat country program as a tribute to the selected location for this year’s Canadian championships- Calgary, Alberta, earning them 110.89 overall.
In the Junior short program exhibition, Nexxice skated their Lose Yourself/ Coming Home program for the Stratford audience.
The Senior division was turned to an exhibition when Meraki withdrew last minute, for reasons still unknown. The scores were not released.
On Sunday, the three divisions of Adult had their chance to be in the spotlight. Stratford hosted over 500 adult skaters, all with the passion and love for the sport of synchronized skating. Team Unity representing Tavistock & District, along with Mississauga Ice Precise invaded the podiums, each earning 3 medals. Team Unity won the silver in Adult 1, and gold in adult 2 and 3. Ice Precise took gold in Adult 1, bronze in Adult 2, and silver in Adult 3.
It is with thanks to the local organizing committee and the Western Ontario section, for continuing the tradition of the Bill Phillips Memorial Invitational, and providing such a welcoming atmosphere for officials, skaters, coaches, managers, parents, and spectators. Your hospitality was truly wonderful!
Results are coming